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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

UK Handed British Sovereignty to Entertainment Industry

British Home Secretary seems to be sacrificing the life of a young British guy who committed no crime other than hacking off the content industry.





To be fair to the Home Secretary, she would send anyone abroad to face a kangaroo court if the authorities asked her. However, the case of Sheffield Hallam student Richard O’Dwyer is now widely known as a particularly unpleasant one. Under pressure from the entertainment industry, the United States has started criminalizing cases of piracy and using its legal system as a private police force for the Big Content. Unfortunately, this also involves enforcing content industry’s view about what can be referred to as a crime.

Now a sensible Home Secretary would look at the charges its citizen faces and question what he had done. The matter is that O’Dwyer, when he was 19, started an online service called TVshack.net. The website linked to places to watch TV shows and movies online. In the United Kingdom, by the way, this wasn’t a crime – the film companies complained and the CPS said it wasn’t worth pursuing. So the entertainment industry leaned on its tamed American cops to get an extradition on the British guy so he could face the full wrath of the American law.

In the United States O’Dwyer can go to jail for ten years for doing something that is legal in the United Kingdom. Of course, this created a bit of stink with the citizens who feel that the Home Secretary is ruining a guy’s life in order to keep the American government happy.

Worse still, an American citizen who carried out a crime in the United Kingdom wouldn’t be extradited back to face the music, which means that the United States is better at protecting its own citizens than the UK.

Meanwhile, the local media confirmed that Theresa May has told the House of Commons she wouldn’t revisit plans to extradite to the United States on copyright charges, because her mind was already made up.

Perhaps, the Home Secretary hopes that such approach will push her tough Margaret Thatcher style image, but in fact she just looks like a heartless careerist ready to sell her own grandmother if she thought she could look good on the cover of the Daily Mail.

So, Richard O’Dwyer’s only hope now is a court appeal. At the same time, Theresa May might find herself facing public support for O’Dwyer, because Wikipedia heads Jimmy Wales is already arranging an army of celebrities to take her on.

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